Kyungsoo meets Luhan under astonishingly ordinary circumstances, so ordinary that they starkly contrast with Luhan’s intentions. Kyungsoo is vaguely aware of the boy’s presence when he sifts through packaged food at a local convenience store.
Kyungsoo turns, hearing the voice, which is closer to him than expected. Luhan practically breathes down his back. He’s wearing a navy blazer, the same uniform as Kyungsoo’s, and carries a baby doll expression of simplicity and innocence.
“That’s a disgusting habit,” Kyungsoo retorts as he returns to his browsing.
“That food looks pretty disgusting too,” Luhan comments back coolly.
“It’s not for me.”
“Neither are these,” Luhan mutters, holding up the cigarettes when Kyungsoo spins to face him.
Luhan wears an eye smile that transmits itself across the room as Kyungsoo saunters away. He swears he can still feel the stare when he buys the junk food.
“I wouldn’t mind it if you stopped watching me,” Kyungsoo says when Luhan follows him out.
Luhan’s hopping steps match Kyungsoo’s pace and almost surpass it.
“I haven’t seen you in a while, Do Kyungsoo,” Luhan continues.
They reach a crosswalk and Kyungsoo glances at him.
“Do I know you?” He wonders aloud.
“I don’t remember you,” Kyungsoo mutters.
“But then you moved schools,” Luhan adds as they cross the road. “And now you’re back. Why?”
“The border for schools changed,” Kyungsoo immediately responds.
“Liar!” Luhan laughs melodically, softly punching Kyungsoo in the shoulder.
Kyungsoo feels incredibly odd with this strange kid suddenly following him around. But despite the odd circumstances it feels natural.
Besides, Kyungsoo admits Luhan has undeniable charm and a relatively pleasant presence. With his smiles and light teasing, Kyungsoo nearly hopes that Luhan will remain a friend throughout the school year.
“There wasn’t really a reason for the change of schools,” Kyungsoo explains. “I guess I was just bored and didn’t have any good friends.”
“I suppose,” Luhan replies. “Without me, I guess life would be drab.”
Kyungsoo battles the urge to roll his eyes as he descends the stairs to the subway.
“What are you doing?”
“I take the subway to school,” Kyungsoo answers.
They walk in almost silence, almost because Luhan is blithely humming in the background. He hardly notices Kyungsoo drop the packaged food.
“What are you doing?” He questions, turning around.
The food now laid in the hands of a homeless man, poorly positioned on the grimy floor, his head leaning back, motionless against the wall.
“I see,” Luhan whispers. “Do you do that every day?”
Because it’s October the air is almost crisp, but not yet uncomfortable. However, under the ground it feels nearly like summer despite the smell, with warm wisps of air gracing their faces.
The hum of the subway makes the silence between the two boys comfortable. Kyungsoo gets a homey feeling next to Luhan, like he finally has a friend.
When the two get to school they enter separately. Kyungsoo distances himself from Luhan because he’s too afraid that he’ll be obliged to do something if he stays. Luhan notices but does nothing.
It’d be a lie to say Kyungsoo has friends, because he doesn’t. After middle school he forgot how to have friends. He was too small, too fragile to be considered a proper boy. So, girls ignored him, and guys forgot about him, and he was left alone.
It’s not quite sad for him because he likes to be alone. Sometimes, though, he longs for human company. And Luhan reminds him of his loneliness.
He sits by friendly people at lunch that aren’t friendly enough to be his friends. It’s just their characteristic. And Kyungsoo knows this, unable to help feeling disappointed.
But he doesn’t express this. He sits calmly in the background and eats his rice.
In the corner of his eye, he sees Luhan leave the lunchroom and resists the urge to follow. Actually, he resists the urge to long for companionship.
In the end, he leaves lunch early to finish up some homework in order to minimize the toil later. But in the back of his mind, he thinks about Luhan and, again, the inevitable loneliness his heart swells with.
At home, Kyungsoo’s parents mechanically ask him about school.
“Mom, as much as I adore your persistent interest in my day, it’s boring as usual,” Kyungsoo answers. “Trust me. There’s nothing worthy of noting.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” she responds, setting down a plate of food. “You seem a little bit brighter today.”
“Do I?” Kyungsoo wonders, practically astonished. “Wow.”
“Well, you’re talking,” Kyungsoo’s father adds as he sits down at the table.
Kyungsoo lightly scoffs.
When dinner is finished, Kyungsoo helps with the dishes and continues to do his homework. Calculus is painstaking, but not as much as explaining a bad grade to obsessive parents. Kyungsoo does have a good relationship with his parents, but he’s also never gotten less than an A-.
Despite this, he can’t bring himself to evaluate any more definite integrals. It’s too much work without a graphing calculator. The efficiency is about 20%, he thinks.
So Kyungsoo stops.
The next day is interesting.
Kyungsoo is halfway through his lunch when Luhan calls him over. He thinks it’s odd. Why invite him in the middle of lunch instead of the beginning? Nevertheless, Kyungsoo shuffles over with an awkward tilt of the head, unable to make eye contact.
“I couldn’t find you yesterday,” Luhan laughs. “Did you abandon me?”
Kyungsoo blinks, confused.
“But I saw you?”
“Did you?” He laughs again. “I didn’t notice! Oh god, but I’ve found you now. No more hiding.”
“I wasn’t hiding,” Kyungsoo mumbles back as they exit the cafeteria.
Kyungsoo is almost sad when he realizes his friends don’t notice his absence, but then it’s replaced with a sort of excitement when he thinks about Luhan and where Luhan is taking him.
Luhan falls into a relaxed silence, similar to what they experienced the previous morning. It’s calm and reassuring, not very tense. Kyungsoo is at ease.
“Where do you even eat?”
Luhan only answers with a furtive smile.
They continue down a relatively long hallway until they reach the end, which is marked by a slightly unusual door. The paint is a little greyer and a little more worn. But now, for some reason, what once blended in with the antagonistic crowd stands out.
Luhan still says nothing as he pulls out a nearly rustic key and unlocks the door.
“What the hell…” Kyungsoo trails, earning a subtle shush from Luhan.
They walk through the doorway and become enveloped in darkness, draped over them like a wet blanket. Kyungsoo feels almost suffocated.
“This is so sketchy,” he finally mutters.
And with that Luhan switches the lights on.
They walk a bit further until they reach another room. Kyungsoo can hardly make out their immediate surroundings, even with the hall illuminated. The room is borderline cave-like.
Luhan pushes through the door and suddenly voices are apparent. Kyungsoo squints when faces come into view.
“Luhan,” a tall, thin boy slurs. “Where the hell did you go? Taking a dump? Jesus.”
Luhan doesn’t introduce Kyungsoo, which makes the boy immensely uncomfortable.
“Who’s that?” a chatty voice wonders. “Luhan, who the fuck did you bring in here?”
The boy talking has coal colored hair pouring over his bangs and slim, judgmental lips. His delicate fingers are repeatedly tapping the table.
“You’re kind of cute,” he continues almost rudely.
“Not really,” a deeper tone interjects, almost annoyed.
The voice belongs to a much taller male who possesses fairly long, brown hair. Kyungsoo can’t tell whether it’s died or naturally that color.
“Luhan, you didn’t tell us you were bringing anyone,” a new person adds.
Kyungsoo watches the teen who steps forward.
He has dark hair, dark skin, and a sultry expression smothered over his face, consuming Kyungsoo. But Kyungsoo has to admit that he kind of likes it.
“What’s your name?” The boy inquires.
“Jongin, this is what I meant when I said I knew someone you’d get along with,” he says.
That should’ve been the alarm for Kyungsoo.
Twenty minutes of lunch with this group is all Kyungsoo needs to sort everyone out. The tall freak is Chanyeol. He’s pretty energetic but there’s also something dark about him. He seems to be closest with Baekhyun, the guy who likes to talk too much. There’s something uncomfortable about Baekhyun too, but not with the way he acts. It was the way others responded to him. There is also Chen. He’s funny but his humor is dubiously sadistic. But above everyone else, there is Jongin, who slithers his way to Kyungsoo easily.
Kyungsoo quickly decides he is more effortlessly friends with Jongin than Luhan. Apart from the undeniable attraction fostered from pouty lips and allusive skin, Jongin and Kyungsoo got along so smoothly.
Jongin is, in fact, so sweet that Kyungsoo finds himself falling over, his mind folding in on itself and completely shutting down.
If Luhan notices he doesn’t act like it. He is distracted with Sehun constantly. They both laugh together with matching eye smiles but Kyungsoo is so busy with Jongin he doesn’t even feel a pang of jealousy.
“I can’t believe you came back though,” Jongin slurs as he hangs dangerously close to Kyungsoo on the burnt orange couch.
Kyungsoo waves him off.
“Oh please,” he responds. “Don’t pretend you missed me. Even I didn’t know you existed. I don’t think you noticed when I was gone.”
“I told you,” Jongin insists. “We had fifth period English together. I just didn’t say anything in that class because my English sucks ass.”
“Hmm…” Kyungsoo trails in disbelief. Where was this attractive boy in ninth grade?
Even though Jongin is nice, Kyungsoo tries to not get attached so easily. He knows clinginess is cringe worthy.
However, he doesn’t remember that thought when he goes home with Jongin after school.
Author's Note: Here we go guys! I'm finally back haha! Junior year was rough as fuck so I took a break. I hardly realized it though. Anyway, back with a new story, one much darker than Venus obviously (if you couldn't tell). Not sure if this is going to be a long one or not?? Beyond that, hope you guys enjoy! (I seriously hope my writing improved after I took a fucking AP English course)